Are you an unemployed chef? Are you willing to relocate to Antarctica?

Categories: Cafe Society

antarctica john e lester.jpg
John E. Lester
Home sweet home?
McMurdo Station, one of three U.S. government-run research posts in Antarctica, is looking for a new executive chef. The requirements include a bachelor's degree, a culinary degree and seven years of experience, at least three of which are supervisory. Oh, and you should be willing to relocate to Antarctica for seven months out of the year. The ad mentions the "ability to live in extreme winter weather conditions" as a requirement. What they fail to mention is just what they mean by "extreme": It's below freezing almost constantly and there are 24 hours of darkness during the Antarctic winter (our summer).

Not that it can't be fun. According to Jonathan Shikes's 2009 cover story: "In 2004, Modern Drunkard interviewed an anonymous staffer who told of bacchanalian orgies and crossdressing parties. In June 2008, a national newswire wrote about a shipment of 16,500 condoms to Antarctica, where they were distributed, free of charge, just before winter began."

While Centennial-based Raytheon Polar Services is still running McMurdo Station -- Akmaaq, a company that provides Raytheon with food, housing, janitorial and MWR services posted the ad -- it won't be for long. As Westword has previously reported, Raytheon which has been operating the station since 1999, wasn't selected as one of three finalists for the upcoming contract for thirteen years and $2 billion. However, selection of the next finalist is running behind, so Raytheon will be running things until March 2012.

The full ad:

Summary: The Executive Chef is responsible for the efficient operation of the McMurdo Station Kitchen and two remote dining facilities. S/he ensures personally or through subordinate supervisors a high level of customer, client, and employee satisfaction. This position is also responsible for station menu planning and execution. In addition, the Executive Chef provides strong leadership and guidance to all McMurdo culinary employees.

Essential Functions
• Plan, direct, coordinate, and participate in overall activities of the kitchen, serving areas and dining hall for McMurdo Station ensuring the highest level of quality and cleanliness to include the preparation and attractive/appealing presentation of food and beverage and the appearance of all dining locations.
• Plan and execute a variety of nutritionally balanced, attractive, and cost effective menus to include the development of recipes and portion specifications in accordance with consumer tastes, nutritional needs, product specifications, ease of preparation and established procedures and budgetary constraints for all dining locations, flight meals, and special events.
• Initiates and/or approves significant menu changes. Coordinates menu planning and adjustments; ordering and receiving of food. Monitors availability of ingredients; makes adjustments when necessary. Coordinates placement of weekly food order among supervisors. Orders fresh produce as needed. Calculates daily food production needs and establish an effective leftover usage program.
• Maintain client and customer satisfaction and good public relations through effective communication and feedback that provides opportunity for improved operations.
• Participates in and/or conducts inter- and intra- departmental meetings as required, including but not limited to weekly safety meetings, weekly production meetings, and weekly supervisors meeting,
• Responsible for disseminating information to personnel as needed for efficient daily operations including keeping staff informed, as needed, of all events that cause population fluctuations at primary and satellite dining areas.
• Monitors the planning, ordering, preparation, service and clean-up of all food-related functions involving Distinguished Visitors to McMurdo and special event meals.
• Works with Culinary Manager and Operations Director to initiate progressive changes in the long and short-term operational goals of the culinary department; may involve research and technical writing.
• Recruit and select new personnel as needed and ensure a high degree of employee productivity.
• Plan, assign and direct employee schedules to include deployment, redeployment, trainings, and weekly work and cleaning schedules. Conduct training programs; monitor and evaluate performance; reward and discipline; and address complaints and resolve problems. Assist in resolving disputes and counsels employees on issues that shift leaders are unable to resolve.
• Maintain a safe, and healthy working environment ensuring a high degree of adherence to the RPS Environmental Health & Safety and Quality Assurance programs, HACCP and ServSafe policies and procedures.

Requirements
• Bachelor's Degree, Culinary Arts Degree and a minimum of seven (7) years cooking experience, with at least three (3) years of supervisory responsibilities in high-volume, (not including convenience of fast-food), facilities with diverse populations.
• Demonstrated knowledge of food preparation techniques, equipment operation, HACCP standards, and purchasing and inventory systems. ServSafe Certified.
• Ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals. Ability to compute rate, proportions and percent.
• Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals; to write routine reports and correspondence.
• Demonstrated ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions.
• Ability to organize and prioritize multiple duties and responsibilities and advance multiple tasks simultaneously.
• Excellent verbal and written communication, and interpersonal skills.
• Strong supervisory, leadership, team building, and training abilities.
• Ability to deploy to Antarctica for up to seven (7) months per year.
• Experience working in a federal government contract environment highly desireable.

Position Scope / Complexity
• Analyzes and resolves significant problems.
• Ability to motivate and provide clear direction to culinary staff.
• Sets a good example of excellent customer service.

Supervisory Responsibilities
• Supervises other Supervisors
• Dining Attendant Supervisor and Leads
• Sous Chefs, Production and Prep Cooks
• Materialspersons
• Administrative Assistant

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
• Exceptional verbal and written communication skills.
• Strong organizational skills.
• Ability to work productively and effectively in a fast paced, stressful, demanding, and/or ambiguous work environment.
• Experience working with public and strong customer service skills required.
• Supervisory experience, including strong training and delegation skills required.
• Self-motivation with strong problem-solving skills.
• Ability to live in extreme winter weather conditions.
• Must be competent with various software programs (Word, Excel, Power Point, and Outlook)
• Must have good problem resolution abilities.
• Ability to exercise independent judgment.
• Ability to develop and maintain a pleasant and effective working relationship with clients and staff.

To apply for this position please visit our website www.akmaaq.com, career page and download our application. Please complete Application and submit as directed.

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3 comments
anabelle
anabelle

Hi thereI'm a 38 year old woman who has run restaurants, my own catering company, grown awesome tomatoes, looked after my demented mother, and my twin 2yr old nephews. I'm single and would love the challenge of a season in Antarctica. I've applied with the Australian stations, as an Australian, but i've heard that the US stations are better.If you need someone who can handle anything, laugh, and still create a delicous meal, i'm your girl...

GFTW
GFTW

You'd think the ability to draw and test blood samples with a blow torch would also be a job requirement. Just in case.

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